Game of Speculation: Now the Rumors Swirl Together

More news on the Spoilers in the North. The latest from Winter is Coming is this crazy shit:

The twitter account above says that this battle they are filming is between “The Boltons” and “The Wildings.” Now that makes a kind of sense, and corresponds to things we’ve heard before. After all, at some point someone, somewhere needs to take out the Boltons.

This is part rumor and part argument, but I agree: someone needs to beat the Boltons into a foul-smelling stain in the snow.

BUT! (And everyone loves a big but!) There’s another, more freaky rumor going around as well. Some seem to suggest it’s in relation to this battle, and some are just saying it’s a thing that will happen. The first word of it came from Reddit, as we heard that “A Stark is killed in a very shocking battle.” This same report says this battle is also Boltons vs Wildlings, but goes on to say the Wildlings are allied with the Karstarks, and the Umbers, plus the remaining sellswords from Stannis’ army.

I can believe the wildlings, Umbers and Karstarks are all fighting together. The part where I wonder if someone has misinterpreted/misheard/misremembered/fabricated something is the bit about Stannis’s sellswords fighting with the Northern alliance. Let’s remember: these are the sellswords who abandoned Stannis in the bowels of the North, and took all his horses with them, when they started feeling like they were on the losing side. Is it the Umbers who trust the sellswords after that, or the Karstarks? And why? This is a thing that the show would need to work fairly hard to explain. Who trusts that sellsword company now?

And Irish Thrones reports that there is another possibility for that Stark who is killed in the “very shocking battle.” It’s not one from the younger generation. In fact, it is none other than the Stark those murdering Night’s Watchmen promised poor Jon information about.

As certain commenters point out, Irish Thrones does not have the best track record. I rank this report as slightly better than their telling us about Lady Stoneheart leading an army. Outside of photographic evidence of filming locations, I trust Irish Thrones about as far as I can chuck an empty fridge. I don’t think they’re dishonest, but I do think they’re incredibly gullible.

Now let me see if I can gather all this up: So far, the rumors we’ve heard are that we’re getting a massive battle in the North, involving the Boltons, wildlings, Jon Snow, Umbers, Karstarks, and sellswords, a Stark will be killed, and Benjen is coming back. We already have photographic evidence of Rickon coming back. We’ve heard about casting for the new Lords Umber and Karstark.

IF we assume the rumor of another Stark death is credible, these are the Starks we have to work with: a boy who’s already been killed once, a girl who’s been perpetually victimized for too long already, a girl who may be arriving in the Riverlands just in time for the battle in the North, a boy who’s tangled up in a tree north of the Wall, a boy who’s been hiding out with the Umbers since S3, and an uncle who’s been missing since S1. The last two are the most credible options for an S6 death. If Rickon is killed in S6, I think it would make most sense if he has one last meeting with Sansa before he dies. If Benjen is killed, then he needs to turn up alive and Jon Snow needs to be resurrected early-season, so we get to see them catch up together before Benjen is taken away again. It would be shitty storytelling if Benjen shows up alive late-season and then gets killed right away. If he shows up early-season and then gets killed in Ep9 after helping Jon Snow get vengeance on the Boltons, that works. It’s tragic, but it adds up.

Or, you know, maybe Benjen is long dead and staying that way, the sellswords have spontaneously decided to put the North back in Stark hands because they’re the ones who apparently have the skillset to hold it together, and no more Starks will go to early graves.

3 thoughts on “Game of Speculation: Now the Rumors Swirl Together

  1. I always kind of assumed that Stannis’ mutinous sellswords went and joined up with the Boltons, explaining how they had such numbers when Stannis showed up at Winterfell.

    Just my assumption, I have nothing to back it up (and I don’t necessarily know why Roose would trust the sellsword cavalry to help, but it would explain why the Boltons bothered to attack Stannis on the fields rather than hunker down in Winterfell and let Stannis’ men starve and freeze to death. )

    Sellswords: Stannis is lame. Can we join up with y’all?
    Roose: Er, okay. But you have to stay outside. And when Stannis’ army shows up you have to attack him.
    Sellswords: What’s in it for us?
    Roose: We’ll send out some hot cocoa.
    Sellswords: Agreed.

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